South Africa: final decision on DTT standard is imminent

Technology & Convergence

In South Africa, there have been delays in announcing the official digital TV standards decision, and it’s a decision which does not seem easy to take. SADC was supposed to make a final announcement back in September 2010.

However, Duncan McLeod (TechCentral.co.za) and Candice Jones wrote that it’s still decision time for digital TV standard. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) task team, which is investigating which digital terrestrial television broadcasting standard the region should adopt, will report its findings on Monday, 22 November 2010. The task team will submit its findings at a SADC meeting of ministers in Lusaka on that date.

A senior broadcasting industry source close to the situation says all indications are that the report will be in favour of again committing SADC to the European standard, known as digital video broadcasting terrestrial (DVB-T). However, there are believed to be dissenting voices, among them Angola.

Thanks to an about-turn by the South African department of communications earlier this year, the region's migration to from analogue to digital broadcasts has been thrown in disarray.

Brazil has set aside money and expertise to help South Africa if it ditches its commitment to the European standard for digital terrestrial television and stumps for the standard used in the South American country instead.
André Barbosa Filho, special advisor to the presidency of Brazil, says that if SA decides to adopt Brazil's integrated service digital broadcasting terrestrial (ISDB-Tb) standard, it will bring in people to discuss joint ventures for the manufacturing of television sets, mobile television handsets and digital set-top boxes. He says the country has set aside funds to bring in representatives to begin discussions.